Requirements for submitting digital competition boards have been posted to the website here.

The first Question & Answers list for the Dingbat 2.0 Competition was posted on 5.13.2010.  Final questions were due 5.23.

The second Question & Answers list was posted on 5.29. Questions 12-22 are Answered for this second round. Questons 1-11 were answered in the first round.

As a general response to some of the questions, since this is an ideas competition, entrants have flexibility as to how they want to approach the project – as a realistic project, an attempt at densification, a social critique, an investigation of typology or iconography, etc.

Question 1: Do we have to consider the “Residential Development Standards” and the “Parking requirements” for residential (R2) zones, as described in the “2008-2014 Housing Element” document of the City of Santa Monica, in our proposal?

Answer 1: This is for the Santa Monica Site.  No, since this is an ideas competition, you do not have to consider these if you don’t want to.  If you choose to, you may, and you should point out that you are.  One purpose of the competition is to allow for such zoning guidelines to be questioned, and for alternates to be considered.  See also A2 below.

Q2: Does the form and size of the each single lot have to remain unchanged?

A2: No they do not need to remain unchanged – they can be changed. As part of the competition, alternatives to the single lots shown may be proposed.  Entrants should clearly articulate rationale and benefits to this approach.

Los Angeles recently (2004) passed a ‘Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance’, which allowed developers to build several buildings within a single lot, grew out of a desire to offer flexible solutions to the city’s housing density issues.  As part of this ordinance, multiple single family dwellings could exist on a lot, and share amenities such as driveways, etc.  This was a simple, distinct change to previous code regulations.

Q3: Is it possible to redesign only a single lot within the block as type?

A3: Yes and no.  Yes, you may create a prototype on a single lot.  HOWEVER, you are REQUIRED to show how the entire neighborhood (the single block) will be developed.  Per the requirements, you are submitting 2 boards – 1 addresses the Dingbat as a building type, the other as an entire neighborhood of buildings.   So you design 1 prototype, or several prototype buildings, but whichever approach you take to the individual building, you must address the entire neighborhood as well.  You must do this even if you are leaving much of the neighborhood intact.

Q4: I won’t have access to the three sites listed.  Would you please let me know, before I commit theentry fee, what type of documentation is on your FTP site for use in designing and presentation?  Are there detailed photographs of the dingbats for each site?  Elevations and plans, etc.,?

A4: Site plans are available to registered entrants only.  See google maps online for elevation photos of all the buildings.  There are no drawings of floor plans or building elevations, besides the plan outlines shown on the site plans.  The site plans are provided via email to entrants in Autocad and PDF formats, and show building footprints, number of floors, parking, sidewalks and parking information.  Site plan information is available here.

Q5: Where can the Dingbat 2.0 Competition submissions be sent or uploaded?

A5: This information will be provided as part of the next round of Questions and Answers, and posted on the website.

Q6: We have just paid the entry fee by PayPal, but we have a question about the last part of the registration form. What do you mean by”specify the design team name”?  May we choose a conventional NAME for our team? Shall we include it on the boards (pdf files), together with the identifying number you will assign?

A6: You can choose any name for the design team, or no name – it is optional.  This is only if you want o use a design team name or your office name instead of your own name/s.  However, DO NOT include your name or team name on the boards – the boards must remain anonymous. The use of the design team name is for our purposes should an entry win a prize, or we choose to use the entrant’s submission for exhibition or publication purposes.

Q7: It would be very useful to know the number of flats (apartment units) and individual houses in each block, so as to be able to calculate the density of the project.

A7: Houses are shown on the site plan, and sizes and number of stories are indicated for each apartment building.  There are notes that can help you roughly estimate the number of units, based on the number of floors of the building, how much parking is included on the lot, which neighborhood the lots are in, etc.  HOWEVER, we cannot provide an exact number of units (flats) per building.

Q8: Is it possible to redesign the entire block, demolishing the existing and replacing with all new buildings or should we consider to maintain existing dingbats because of their high historical value?

A8: Yes, you can redesign the entire block if you choose.  As an ideas competition, part of ‘Dingbat 2.0’ is to allow for a complete reconsideration of neighborhoods.

Q9: In your brief: “Attention should be paid to some of the regulatory changes (parking requirements, pull-out, zoning heights) that have both contributed to the rise and fall of the Dingbat (see Chase article in the Field Guide). In order to offer visionary adaptations of this housing type, current limitations in code and zoning may be questioned.”

Could you please explain this better?

A9: The Field Guide to Dingbats (available here) discusses the building code change that restricted pulling out of the driveway backwards, which effectively stopped the creation of most front-carport designed dingbat apartment buildings, and contributed to the development of more apartment buildings having parking garages taking up most of the footprint of the building at ground-level, half-level submerged or full-level submerged.  These large parking garages allowed for autos to drive in, park, and have room to either turn around and exit through the front, or drive all the way through and exit through the back.  Some people consider this code change to contribute to the ‘fall of the dingbat’, as apartment building typologies changed once the parking was turned into a full level of the building – some apartments started having elevators, interior corridors (which removed the ‘front door’ accessed directly from the exterior of most dingbat apartment building units) and other changes.   Parking requirements also increased, removing the ability to for apartment buildings to NOT have a full level of parking.  Many of the early dingbat apartment buildings might only have 4-6 covered parking spaces, much less than is required now.  Also, see answers to questions 1 and 2 about general code questions.

Q10: In the new redesign must we consider the draft codes currently available for the city?
If yes can you make them available? Or we can feel free to abide by current code and zoning limitations?

A10: No, you do not have to consider the draft codes, although you can if you want to.    No, we will not provide code information, this information is available online.   You can abide by current code and zoning limitations OR, you can choose to question these and propose alternates, as discussed in other Answers provided herein.

Q11: Can the central alley be “transformed” or “eliminated”?

A11: Yes, you can transform the alley, but you should provide justification for doing so.  If you choose to do this, you should clearly articulate what the benefits are.  Per previous Answers herein, exploring alternates to current code requirements is allowed.  If the alley is removed, parking and trash storage/collection should be addressed.

Q12: Is there a requirement for drawings to be in metric or imperial units?

A12: There are no requirement for drawing scale, for any of the drawings.  Most Americans use imperial, so this will be easier for the jury to read – but they can figure it out if it’s in metric.

It is flexible, so if you prefer to work in metric, just as long as you indicate the drawing scale, that is acceptable.

Q13: We are wondering what qualifies to be in the professional part of the competition? We have just graduated from architecture school, but are not licensed.  Are we eligible?  If so, are we ‘students’ or ‘professionals’.

A13: Everyoneis eligible for the competition – everyone.   Everyone who is not currently a student is considered ‘professional’.  ‘Professional’ just means ‘not a student’, for purposes of this competition.  If you just graduated, you are a ‘professional’.

Q14: How will the boards be presented? Your literature makes mention of printing each board. If so, will they be printed full size? Will they also be projected on a screen? Will they be presented on a computer laptop?

A14: This is a DIGITAL ONLY COMPETITION – entrants are NOT to print their boards for purposes of submitting for the competition. The digital files for the boards will be presented on a projection screen.

Only winning and selected entries will be printed full-size for the exhibition, NOT for the competition jury.  Small prints of the boards (11×17 / A3 size) may be made (by the LA Forum) to assist the jurors in their deliberations.  There are no plans to present them on a laptop.

The full-size boards selected for the exhibition will be printed and paid for by the LA Forum.

Q15: How will PDFs be delivered? What is maximum file size? What is mininum resolution?

A15: Digital submittal requirements and directions and maximum file sizes are indicated here.  There are no resolution requirements, except as how they affect file size.

Q16: My team has one grad student and one professional. Which category should we enroll in?

A16: You should enroll in the Professional category.  For student entries, all members must provide proof of student status.

Q17: If we are working in teams, does each member have to register individually or can we pick a representative for our team?

A17: One person can register, and list the other team members on same form, at the bottom of the form.   There is no need for separate entries. This is true for both the student and professional categories.

Q18: What if the design team changes during work on the competition? If a member or members is added or dropped from the team?

A18: Just resubmit the registration form again, along with your submittal, and list the additional design team members. Since you have a registration number (either P-xxx, or S-xxx for students), indicate that in the resubmitted registration form file name (e.g. ‘P-100- D2.0_RegistrationForm’ or something similar).  The design team member(s) will be listed as provided on the original registration form, unless we are notified otherwise.

Q19: Is it possible to include in board 1, in addition to showing drawings on an urban scale, also the show the plans, elevations and sections of buildings developed, leaving the 2nd board for renders and details for both scales?

A19: No. The boards for the submittal need to be consistent from entrant to entrant. See submittal requirements here.

Q20: When you refer to the submission deadline of June 4 by midnight Pacific Standard Time, you mean the midnight of day 4 to day 5, or midnight from day 3 to day 4?


A20: We mean midnight of day 4 to day 5.  That is Friday night, June 4, Midnight (end of the day Friday), Pacific Standard Time.

Q21: Is there is a place indicated in the boards where we include the identifying (registration) number? or are we free to set the layout as we want?


The layout of each board is completely free and open.  The 2 boards must be divided into the Urban Scale and Building Scale, as described in number 19 above, and the submittal requirements.

Q22: Are there requirements for using black and white or color for layouts?

A22: There are no specific requirements – you can use either or both, etc.